blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: August 2019

August 30, 2019

National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

I can't believe we're already heading into September! And with that, it's been nearly 6 years of our breastfeeding and pumping journey (with 3 babies who aren't babies anymore)!!!

In honor of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month (and Black Breastfeeding Week), I'm teaming up with Walmart to share some of my tips and favorite products that make life a little easier while  pumping! I love that I can find pretty much anything I need there and at the best prices (and their next day and 2 day shipping really make life easier). Their baby shop has so much (I got all of the girls carseats from there too)!

A bit of background on my journey - I breastfed Olivia for 18 months, went back to work at 4 months, and pumped while away and nursed when I was home with her. With Elli, I breastfed only for 1-2 weeks - she had a horrible latch that caused terrible nipple bleeding to the point of her spitting up blood, and I went back to work at 1 month (I was in my intern year in residency). I exclusively pumped for 12 months and then we switched over to formula and soon after dairy milk. With Rowen, I breastfed for 9 months, went back to work at 2 months and pumped/breastfed throughout that time. As my supply died down during a particularly hard rotation I switched over to formula for the last few months  until we started dairy milk. So with that - here are some of my tips!

  • If you plan on pumping, start early, and introduce a bottle (preferably given by someone else) early as well. We've used lots of different bottles, and the Como Tomo, Dr. Brown's, and Philips Avent were our favorite. Loved each for different reasons!
  • Start by pumping for a few minutes after nursing, even if you only get a half an ounce! Start storing this in storage bags and add to it until you have 4-6 ounces in a bag and then pop it in the freezer. Breastmilk is all about supply and demand so the more you pump the more milk you will have, and our bodies are most responsive to those cues when our milk is just coming in. 
  • Use a handheld pump and pump from the opposite side while the baby nurses on the other. With my first, I loved the ease of my manual pump - and with a nursing pillow it really does make it easier to do this. I usually didn't completely empty that breast in case baby wanted to nurse on the other side too, but many women find this helpful!
  • Don't feel like you have to pump extra everyday. Start early and just build slowly, once your milk really comes in you will have milk! The worst thing we can do for our supply is stress!
  • Once you're back at work, having a small, no-fuss pump makes a huge difference. At home I usually used my Medela Pump In Style (check if your health insurance will provide this pump for free), but for work I LOVED having my Freestyle - it was wireless and super portable and still got the job done. 
  • Pump handsfree so you can catch up on emails (or just decompress) while pumping. Having a hands-free pumping bra (that also functions as a nursing bra) is super helpful and will make pumping time seem like less of a punishment. 
  • Bring a cooler bag if you don't have a refrigerator at work (I didn't during my last time pumping). I loved how small this one was (and it fit my bottles perfectly)! I would usually pack only 2 bottles and a few milk storage bags - this way I could store more milk if needed.
  • Make sure to drink water throughout the day (lots of people swear by the pink drink too, but this isn't really a budget-friendly habit)! And toss in milk-boosting snacks (these were delicious)! It's so easy especially at a stressful job to forget to drink and eat enough, but that's the only way your body can produce the liquid gold for your baby! So take care of yourself. 
  • Know your rights, and advocate for yourself. You have the right to breastfeed your baby whenever and wherever, and you have the right to pump at work. Check out this link for more information. 

I hope some of these tips could help, and as always leave a comment on this post or Instagram with any questions! And thanks so much to Walmart for sponsoring this pumping post and helping recognize National Breastfeeding Awareness month! All thoughts and opinions are always my own!

August 20, 2019

Back To School Time

Crazy that summer has already come and gone, and now it's time for the girls to head back to school! Sharing some of our favorite back to school basics below! 

I love that I was able to do all of our back to school shopping online at Walmart! So many items were even available with free next day shipping (great for the last-minute shoppers like myself), and most others had 2 day shipping! Olivia has to wear a big girl uniform to school this year, so I was really excited to find many four pack of shirts for under $20. The uniform bottoms were a great price point too. I also picked up some fun bento boxes for lunch - make sure to check out my lunches highlight on Instagram for kids llunch ideas! And of course all of their back to school supplies like notebooks, pencils, crayons, markers, and more (even sanitizing supplies the teachers request - everything is at Walmart)!

 One thing I've started doing each year with the girls is ordering extra supplies so we can donate to kids who don't have them - and at Walmart's prices I can pick up quite a bit and help even more families in need ($12 backpacks are insane and I can easily fill them with goodies and donate)! Love showing these girls how we can (and should) help others any chance we get! 

Thanks so much to Walmart for sponsoring this back-to-school post and helping a mama like me get my littles ready for school! All thoughts and opinions are always my own!

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